February 20th, 2013 | Posted by Monika Topolko in Recipes

Steamed Mussels with Saffron Sauce

Steamed Mussels with Saffron Sauce

I am completely and utterly amazed by the fact that I can still learn something new about myself. You see, by the time you’re on the verge of leaping into the notorious thirties, you tend to imagine you are a complete person. You know who you are and where you’re going in life and you most certainly know what you like and what you don’t like. You feel calm and confident about yourself and your choices until you suddenly realize you were totally wrong on so many different levels.  Fortunately, before you’re consumed with the terror of going through yet another identity crisis, you  start to realize this is actually a good thing.Steamed Mussels with Saffron Sauce

I discovered my love for shellfish only recently. Growing up in a small town in the continental part of Croatia, the only contact I’ve had with seafood was in the form of frozen fish fingers. I did not particularly like them, either. Later on, I started appreciating the magic behind a well prepared fresh fish. Moving to a big city with quite a few fish markets, I gradually learned how to buy, clean and cook fish. And I loved it!

Steamed Mussels with Saffron Sauce

The shellfish, however, remained a mystery to me. They even evoked a sense of awe in me. I knew nothing about shellfish, and although I feared them, I secretly wanted to try them. I could not, however, muster up the courage to buy a bag of mussels and try my luck. I like to play it safe, and that operation would have taken me way out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t ready.

Steamed Mussels with Saffron Sauce

I realize now how ridiculous that was. I am almost angry at myself for playing it too safe in the past and I can’t help wondering what else I’ve been missing out on all those years. People do change. Thank goodness for that.

In the meantime, I have had many pleasant encounters with shellfish. Our relationship, although a bit shaky at the beginning, evolved into a beautiful and passionate love affair.

Steamed Mussels with Saffron Sauce

Recept na hrvatskom

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Steamed Mussels with Saffron Sauce

Serves 2
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Difficulty: Basic

Category: Fish & seafood
When buying mussels, make sure they don’t smell fishy. You should be able to smell the sea. Discard those whose shells are cracked or open or any that refuse to close their shells when you tap them. Those are likely dying or dead. Cook the mussels the same day, preferably within 2 hours after buying them. If you have to store them, place them in a bowl and cover them with a damp towel so they can breathe.
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
150ml dry white wine
1kg mussels, scrubbed and bearded
100ml heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Soak saffron in hot water in a small bowl. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add wine and bring to the boil. Increase heat to high. Add mussels, cover and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 5 minutes or until mussels open. Transfer mussels to a bowl and set aside. Discard any unopened mussels.
Bring liquid to the boil and cook for 5-10 minutes or until reduced slightly. Add saffron and cream and bring to the boil. Stir through mussels to reheat and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Divide mussels among plates and pour over sauce. Serve immediately with fresh crusty bread and a glass of wine.

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